Rothbury man faces felony charge for ethnic intimidation of inmates

December 28, 2022

Rothbury man faces felony charge for ethnic intimidation of inmates


HART — A 43-year-old Rothbury man lodged in the Oceana County Jail faces a felony charge of ethnic intimidation for allegedly threatening and intimidating black jail inmates.

Shawn Alan Goerbig, of 7080 S. Surf Crt., faces up to two years in prison if convicted.

“There have been multiple incidents involving Mr. Goerbig,” said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast. “The one in question involves an incident that occurred Dec. 13 in the Oceana County Jail when there were multiple threats and comments made toward other inmates.” Several black inmates were threatened.

“Some of his comments were extremely inappropriate and threatening.”

Goerbig is lodged in the jail on a $10,000 cash bond for two felony counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police and assaulting a prison employee for allegedly assaulting an Oceana County Jail corrections officer. 

The officer avoided serious injuries from the assault, said the sheriff. “He was grabbed by his uniform, and it was inappropriate and criminal.

“He’s a large, intimidating man, and he uses that,” said the sheriff of the 6’2”, 260-pound inmate. 

“Even while he’s in jail, there has to be some civility and some order, but he just will not play well with others at all.”

Goerbig is also accused of recently jumping up and down on a jail cell bunk and breaking it. The sheriff’s office is seeking a charge of malicious destruction of property. 

He is currently in a security cell by himself, said Mast.

In 2019, he was sentenced to one year and eight months to four years in prison for a Barry County conviction of failure to pay child support and two to four years in prison for a Kent County conviction of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police, according to the Offender Tracking Information System. He has previous convictions of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police and fleeing and eluding in Otsego County in 2008 and  assaulting/resisting/obstructing police in Oceana County in 2017. 

A probable cause hearing in 79th District Court is set for Jan. 3 at 1 p.m.

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